UPDATE (Feb.8) : We've replaced the rendered image of the Spiney Chair with an image of one actually completed. This should give you a better idea of what the final product will look like.
(For more detail, please see our full presentation here http://slidesha.re/zLYfi0)
Our company has discovered how to
design unique minimal surfaces capable of supporting human loads. While many
architects, industrial designers and sculptors have attempted to tame its
power, the minimal surface has long remained in the world of
theory and imagination. It is a shape ubiquitous in nature, aesthetically
pleasing and, most importantly, capable of redistributing structural forces
evenly throughout the shape, thereby drastically diminishing the limitations
imposed by point loads. Harnessing this property of the minimal surface for a structural
system will open startling and unforeseen possibilities in construction. It
will also maximize the potential uses of materials and obviate many
dependencies we have on carbon intensive means of production such as steel and
We believe this is a historic
achievement and as our company’s first creation we have designed a chair which
will demonstrate our innovation. We have designed the chair and all we need now
is the help of the Kickstarter community to make it real.
The Minimal Surface Chair
These are renderings from our
in-progress design work on the first ever minimal surface chair. It will be the
world’s first built demonstration of how one may take advantage of minimal
surface structural efficiencies to support a human being. We believe this
represents not only the next step in the evolution of the chair, but also the
beginning of a whole new phase of design in architecture.
This chair is vastly unlike any that
has come before. It has two surfaces, one on the top and one on the bottom,
that meet at the seams not only to create the classic shape of a chair we could
all recognize, but also to equally distribute the structural forces of the live
load throughout the surface. Although this shape might seem to imply the use of
a conventional compression based structural system, instead it actually serves
to exhibit our unique ability to sculpt the minimal surface uniquely.
The chair in its entirety is a
minimal surface and all points on all its surfaces have a mean curvature of
zero. While we have our own internal means of verifying that this is the case,
we will be creating a more direct and actual exhibition as proof. We will be
creating a miniature ‘bubble model’ of the chair, or a plastic rigging which
one could dip in a container of soapy water and extract to reveal the exact
shape of the chair made of a soap film.
We are offering the following
rewards at different pledge levels in order to raise funds to pay for all materials and equipment rental
fees required to successfully fabricate and test the prototype. Details of each
reward are as follows:
We recognize the crucial role the
Kickstarter community has played in making countless projects a success. As
such, we will be crediting people who make pledges as having had different roles, depending
on the amount pledged. If you make a $10 pledge, you will be credited as a
‘Contributor’ on our website and our monograph. If you make a $20 pledge you
will be credited as an ‘Associate Producer’ and for $60 you will be credited as
a ‘Producer’. For the $150, $200 and $220 pledges you will have reached the position of
‘Executive Producer’ and for all pledges above $500, you will be one of a limited number of ‘Senior Executive Producers’. These roles are not arbitrarily
assigned as they reflect the degree of contribution made and it is real credit for which we will vouch.
Open Studio Party
In the event that our Kickstarter
project is successful in meeting its funding goal, we will be hosting a Open Studio
Party in the Tri-State area in New York City and, depending on the number and
origin of pledges, another in Paris France. There will be catering, a limited
guest list and you will have the opportunity to meet either or both the Chief
Designer Andrew Miller and Co-Founder Thomas Cantor and to view
various pieces of Andrew’s work. Pledges above $200 will be guaranteed an
invitation while pledges above $500 are rewarded with invitations for two.
We will create a monograph,
containing text and pictures not publically available, pertaining to the
minimal surface and our view on its implications for architecture and
industrial design. There will be a section on the monograph crediting all those
who contributed in order of seniority. This will be a unique
reward for Kickstarter pledges and it will be given in PDF format to those who
make $20 pledges and a signed printed version of the monograph will be posted to
those who make $30 pledges or more (Please add $10 for international delivery).
Not only will there be high
definition renders of the chairs final fabricated form, but also those of other
possible versions of the chair that were devised during research and
development. Additionally the monograph will give a great opportunity to see
how the concept emerged in stages from simple idea to fully a fleshed out
fabrication scheme. There will be more detailed diagrams that
explain some of the deeper ideas behind minimal surface structural systems and
the highly intriguing possibilities for the future, and a few slides of past
work from our chief designer.
Lifetime access to the Members Only section on www.mSurfaces.com
If you make a $60 pledge or more,
you will receive lifetime access to the members only section at www.mSurfaces.com
where you can participate in the creative process. You will help us name our
future products, brainstorm ideas, develop the
business and so on. The section currently does not exist on the website but it will be
created after our funding goal is met.
Miniature model of The Minimal Surface Chair
For a $100 pledge, you will receive
a miniature plastic model of the Minimal Surface Chair. The model will be solid, made of a white plastic similar to that which is to make Lego and approximately 10cm x 8cm in size. As we are making a limited number, we feel this miniature model of the Minimal Surface Chair could become a collectors item in the future.
Bubble model of The
Minimal Surface Chair
As discussed earlier, we will be creating a
miniature plastic rigging which you can dip into a container of soapy water,
which you would then pull out to create the shape of The Minimal Surface Chair
in bubble form. Since a bubble and anything made of soap film is a minimal
surface, this miniature Bubble Model can be used both as a nifty toy to show to
your friends and as proof that the chair is in fact a minimal surface. This is the reward for a $120 pledge.
Half an hour with
Chief Designer Andrew Miller
Our Chief Designer Andrew Miller is hard at work designing
future products and looking for additional funding. As one of the rewards of the $150 pledge, you can have a 30 minute Skype conversation with him to discuss a
subject of your choice.
Minimal Surface Lamp made of fabric
(Image is a top-down view of the lamp) The Minimal Surface Lamp is modelled on Costa’s minimal
surface, a primitive minimal surface discovered in 1982. While it is not a
unique minimal surface nor does it demonstrate the ability to support human
loads like the Minimal Surface Chair, it was also designed by Andrew Miller. It
will function both as a lamp and an attractive ornamental piece. Due to the
time required to construct this reward, it is available only at the $500 pledge
Minimal Surface Lamp made
(Image is a bottom-up view of the lamp) Corian is a highly versatile solid surface material created
by DuPont and is highly resistant to cracking and breaking. The Minimal Surface Lamp
made from this material is one of Andrew’s first personal creations and was the
predecessor to the fabric version. Since this is the prototype and there is
only one available, it is one of the rewards for the $3000 pledge.
The Spiney Chair
The Spiney Chair is another of Andrew’s first personal
creations and is an ergonomic chair tailored to the spinal contour of its
owner. Andrew will design the chair based on the specific body measurements of
its owner and will personally deliver the chair. Due to the size of the chair
and the need for customization, we can only deliver to destinations a days drive from Brooklyn, NY (approximately DC to Montreal). This is our reward for the highest pledge level of
What will the money
be used for?
Designing the minimal surface chair was a challenge. But
actually making it will be costly. We have devised a fabrication strategy which
will require the use of computer controlled fabrication machines, laser cutters
and three dimensional printing machines, all of which will be very expensive.
You can join us in making architectural history by making
one of the pledges to the right. You only end up paying the amount you pledge
if our total funding goal is met and all you need is a credit card. Payment is
handled by Amazon’s secure payment system.
Another way you can join us is by following our Twitter feed
at www.twitter.com/msurfaces and
joining our community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheMinimalSurfaceChair). The more Twitter retweets, Facebook likes
and posts you make referring to our Kickstarter page and website, the more
awareness our project gets and the closer we get to making the Minimal Surface
Chair a reality.
Please see the biography section to the right below the rewards.
Chief Designer Andrew Miller worked with Toyo Ito in 2010.